Price to bring down historic structure also includes cleanup of contaminated soil

Last updated: October 09. 2013 11:39PM - 3574 Views
By - elewis@timesleader.com

The Huber Breaker in Ashley is scheduled for demolition.
The Huber Breaker in Ashley is scheduled for demolition.
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ASHLEY — The sale of the Huber Breaker to a Philadelphia-based company remains unsettled as the demolition cost of the mammoth structure and contaminated soil removal exceeds $1 million.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John J. Thomas awarded a $1.25 million bid by Paselo Logistics LLC, with an address listed on court records as 221 12th St., Philadelphia, during an auction on Aug. 22.

The property had been owned by No. 1 Contracting of South Main Street, Ashley, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2010 and was converted to Chapter 7 in November of that year, requiring the business to liquidate its assets, equipment and property. The breaker contains an estimated 900 tons of steel.

The property consists of one office, three garages/warehouses and a second, smaller breaker.

During its heyday, the Huber produced 1,000 tons of coal an hour, 7,000 tons a day. It was constructed in 1938 and ended operations in 1976.

Since Thomas permitted the sale to Paselo, a court order finalizing the transfer has not been filed.

Attorney Michael G. Oleyear, who was appointed as trustee of No. 1 Contracting through the bankruptcy process, filed several motions seeking the final court order since Aug. 22.

Attorney Jonathan Comitz, representing Paselo Logistics, said he wanted to wait until the judge signs an order making the sale official before discussing what Paselo plans to do with the Huber Breaker.

A court document filed Friday says it will cost $1.057 million to remove structures and contaminated soil from the property. The quoted price by Deleo Trucking, Drilling and Blasting of Pittston was offered in April 2011.

The following is a breakdown of the costs according to the document:

• Removal of smoke stack and water tank: $315,000.

• Removal of 64,000 square feet of boiler room with asbestos: $224,000.

• Removal of all barrels and insulation: $144,000.

• Removal of concrete footings under breaker: $174,000.

• Estimated removal of 4,000 tons of contaminated soil: $200,000.

Despite the high costs, Oleyear and his attorney, David Harris, believe Paselo has the financial ability to pay the purchase price and for the removal of contaminated soil from the property.

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